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News > Archive News > Obituaries > Emily Hoyle (St 00-02) Née Pearce Gould

Emily Hoyle (St 00-02) Née Pearce Gould

Emily Hoyle (née Pearce-Gould) (St 00-02) passed away peacefully, aged 38, on November 27, 2022, after a life-long battle with cystic fibrosis and two double lung transplants. She was a beloved wife of John, mother of Henry, sister to Edward (M 99-04) and Harry, a daughter of Rupert and Frances.   

Emily was also much loved by all her friends, many of whom she met at Rugby School.   

As a teenager, and through Rugby, Emily kept her medical prognosis a secret from many of her contemporaries. She did not want to be treated differently.     

In Stanley, her closest friends would keep her company as she performed an arduous daily regime, which entailed three nebulisers, each an hour long. Her pill tally every day totalled 100. Outside Stanley, her friends were deeply protective of Emily’s greatest secret.   

But it shaped her attitude to school life: there was no time to lose, life was to be lived. She was the last on the dance floor, chatted for hours into the night, brought glamour to every party and was admired by all for her naughty sense of fun (her Rocky Horror Show costume brought great delight), as well as her wise counsel.   

She went on to study Pure Physics at Bristol University (the only female in her year) and left to work at Standard Chartered Bank. She met her soulmate, John Hoyle, a Scots Guard Officer, in 2004 and agreed to marry him in 2008. They travelled widely, including four years living in the Middle East, against medical advice.   

It was in 2010, when she was 26, that she felt the declining effects of her health and for 18 months she was hospitalised at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. She needed a donor. After a double lung transplant operation in August 2012 and a six week hospital recovery, Emily was able to return home.   

Three years later, in 2015, she agreed to take part in an expedition, with 12 other transplant recipients, to raise funds for the machines that prolong organ survival outside of the body.    

The challenge was to climb one of the world’s highest volcanoes in South America, which would challenge even the most able of bodies. The trip was to honour her donor: “what greater legacy can you leave after death, other than to save someone else’s life?” she would say.   

Emily was close to the volcano summit when she decided to turn back to help a close friend and team member who got into medical difficulty: further testament to the person Emily was.  Nevertheless, she set a record for the highest altitude climbed by a female double lung transplant recipient, and raised £50,000 (of the total £125,000 raised by the expedition).   

After returning from the expedition, the infection in Emily’s lungs signalled the need for a second lung transplant. This time round it was even more complex and for two weeks she lay in a coma.   

The transplants gave Emily a joyful extra decade and bought her the time needed to give her the thing she most wanted in her life. Emily and John embarked on a surrogacy process to have a child and ten years later, in 2020, their son Henry was born.   

Emily’s story is remarkable. But to those who knew her, she was even greater than her story. Even in death, she was an incredible example of stoicism, grit, discipline and perspective. And of the success of her transplants, the love of her husband, the support of her family and friends and, above all, the birth of her son, she was grateful beyond measure.   

Donations can be made to the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity (Emily Hoyle’s fund). 

Adapted from the Obituary in the Times   

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